Thursday, 4 December 2014
Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014; In Committee
I move the opposition amendment on sheet 7646:
(1) At the end of section 39A, add:
(4) To avoid doubt, the minimum total number of Protection (Class XA) visas and Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visas to be determined under subsection (3) for any financial year must not be less than 18,750.
I have circulated on sheet 7646 an amendment to the government's amendment (2) to give effect to the numbers—the 18,750—that the minister has outlined to the chamber is the government's commitment. The simple proposition here for senators to consider is that if the government is happy to promise this increase in numbers of the annual refugee intake to 18,750 and to do so in front of TV cameras it should have absolutely no problem in giving that commitment to the Senate and having that commitment written into this legislation. I am concerned that the government has said many things in public but failed to deliver on those things when it has actually had the chance in government. There is obviously a long track-record. To resolve this matter I would seek the support of the Senate so that we do not have a situation whereby the government says, 'No cuts to the ABC, no cuts to SBS, no cuts to education—